COLOMBO (News 1st) – In an unusual rescue operation in the South China Sea on Monday (7) , a migrant vessel attempting to make a transpacific voyage was rescued off the coast of Vietnam.More details about this dramatic rescue have surfaced following revelations made by the Vietnamese media.Migrant vessels are frequently rescued off Cuba, Haiti, Libya and Turkey, but these are generally small, improvised craft on regional journeys. The Myanmar-flagged trawler Lady R3, saved by a good samaritan ship off the coast of Vietnam yesterday, was none of these things. This substantial steel-hulled fishing vessel was attempting to make it all the way from Myanmar to Canada – another 6,000 nm away on a Great Circle route – in order to deliver more than 300 Sri Lankan nationals to a new country. Vietnamese authorities in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, in coordination with representatives from the Sri Lankan Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, have welcomed more than 300 Sri Lankans who were saved by a Japanese freighter, after their boat faced a serious incident in the waters off the Vietnamese town.No injuries were reported, and Helios Leader transited to Vung Tau's sea buoy in order to meet up with the Vietnamese Coast Guard and transfer the survivors.At 8:30 p.m.
on November 8, the first group of 155 Sri Lankans was transported to the port of the Russian-Vietnamese oil and gas joint venture Vietsovpetro (city of Vung Tau) by the rescue ship SAR 413, and the other 150 were also brought ashore on the same day.The government of Vietnam is in discussions with Colombo on the terms of repatriation for all of the rescued Sri Lankan nationals. Accommodation was arranged for them in the city of Vung Tau, in the districts of
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